Building inspections for Grass Valley |

Building inspections for Grass Valley

The city of Grass Valley has approved a contract with the Nevada County Building Department to provide building inspection services on structures within city limits. If the county board of supervisors also approves the deal, the inter-agency collaboration is slated to go into effect as soon as Aug. 18.

Officials at both the city and the county say the move makes financial sense. They had previously contracted with a private sector firm, but the county made a better offer.

“Based on the county’s proposal we’ll get a slightly better rate,” said Tom Last, Grass Valley’s director for community development. “And we may be able to take advantage of more efficiencies by working with an agency that’s right next door to us and able to provide a full range of services.”

Nevada County Building Director Craig Griesbach says it makes good financial sense for the county as well.

“Ultimately, we’re not going to do it unless we recover our costs,” Griesbach said.

If the board of supervisors approve the move at its next meeting, Aug. 12, the county building department will hire an additional staff member who will work full time at city hall. The city will be billed for that employee’s services at an hourly rate.

When Grass Valley does not need that individual’s help, he or she can be re-tasked to help with the county’s workload.

So aside from the financial benefits, what’s the upside for the people of Grass Valley?

“We deal with a lot of the same people, so hopefully we can improve the consistency of enforcement of building codes,” Griesbach said. “There’s a lot of positives, when I sat down with Tom we couldn’t really think of any negatives.”

If approved, this agreement will go through June 2017. You can view the fee-schedule and hourly rates for different personnel in Tom Last’s staff report, submitted to the Grass Valley City Council July 22.

To contact staff writer Dave Brooksher, send emails to or call 530-477-4230.

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